Historic Route 66 – Fly Drive
Nostalgia lovers treasure Route 66’s long, colourful history and small-town ambience. Getting there isn’t half the fun, it’s all the fun!
Discover the freedom of the open road with a fly drive holiday. Fly drive holidays give you the opportunity to discover America at your own pace and to your own timetable. If you’ve been dreaming of driving iconic Route 66 or touring the Sunshine State, these are the holidays for you.
With your car waiting for you at the airport you’ll be straight on the open road, and then the world is your oyster.
- Direct flight with Aer Lingus – Dublin to Los Angeles or Dublin to Chicago
- Car hire based on Jeep Cherokee (or similar) with Liability Insurance Supplement included
- 15 nights accommodation, staying in centrally located hotels
- Room only basis
- Includes day by day driving instructions
- Direct flight with Aer Lingus – Chicago to Dublin or Los Angeles to Dublin
- 20kg check-in bag per person
Arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel.
Step outside today and experience mile after magnificent mile of the Windy City. Stand on the corner of Michigan and Adams, marked as the starting point of Historic Route 66. Enjoy coffee and a big breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s, a Chicago institution since 1923 and a must for Route 66 travellers. Stroll the lakefront, peruse the shops, bike the parks, grab a Chicago Dog, or explore the city’s incredible sights and architectural treasures including Willis Tower, one of the tallest buildings in North America.
This morning, pick up your rental car and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the then and now of America along Historic Route 66. This legendary old road passes through a variety of pure Americana landscapes and takes in some of the country’s biggest, oldest and most peculiar sites along the way. Begin your journey by following the traditional east-towest path of Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis, Missouri, cruising through endless cornfields and flat prairies. En route, don’t miss Wilmington’s most photographed “citizen”, the larger-than-life green Gemini Giant, and Atlanta’s Bunyan Giant, a 19-foot statue of Paul Bunyan holding a giant hot dog. In Springfield, stop at the Cozy Dog Drive-In, the birthplace of the corn dog, and explore the legacy of Abraham Lincoln with a visit to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. Once in St. Louis, the largest city along Route 66, you can follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers by visiting the historic sites found throughout the city, including the Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest monument. DRIVING DISTANCE: 300 MI / 480 KM
Continue through the Ozark Highlands of southern Missouri to Springfield, recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. En route, stop at Meramec Caverns, an extensive set of natural limestone caves whose formations and colors are as unique as they are beautiful. Adding to the pleasure of exploring the caves is learning that Jesse James used them as a hideout and took advantage of the underground river to escape through the “back door”. DRIVING DISTANCE: 210 MI / 340 KM
This morning, cut through the southeastern corner of Kansas on your way to Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma section of Route 66 contains more driveable miles than any other state as well as several miles of the original 9-foot road segment that served Oklahoman families headed west in search of better opportunities during the 1930’s. En route to Oklahoma City, stop to view the beloved 20-foot tall cement Blue Whale in Catoosa, a landmark along Route 66, and the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Memorial Bridge in Tulsa honouring the “Father of Route 66’s” memory and connection to the historic highway. Once in Oklahoma City, the state’s capital, be sure to check out the old Route 66 motels, gas stations and numerous vintage buildings. DRIVING DISTANCE: 310 MI / 520 KM
Continue to Amarillo, located in the pancake-flat plains of the Texas Panhandle. This area of Texas was once the buffalo-rich grasslands of the Great Plains, inhabited by bands of Kiowa and Comanche Indians. Stop at the Route 66 Museum in Clinton where you experience six decades of Route 66 history. See Shamrock’s Tower Station and the U-Drop Inn Cafe whose towering spire is still a reminder of the booming business it once saw. See the first restored Phillips 66 gas station in McLean and in Groom, the leaning water tower and a 150-foot tall stainless steel cross. Once in Amarillo, be sure to stop at Big Texas Steak Ranch where you can attempt their 72oz. steak challenge DRIVING DISTANCE: 260 MI / 420 KM
Before leaving Amarillo be sure to visit Cadillac Ranch. This unique display of art features a row of ten colourfully painted Cadillac cars buried grille first in the ground. Continue to the MidPoint Café in Adrian famous for its “ugly crust” pies. From Adrian you’ll follow Route 66 to Albuquerque, New Mexico for a great taste of the Land of Enchantment. DRIVING DISTANCE: 270 MI / 450 KM
The state’s largest city, Albuquerque spreads north and south along the banks of the Rio Grande. Spend the day exploring Downtown Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, a treasure trove of Route 66 landmarks. Historic Old Town offers a taste of New Mexico’s Spanish colonial past while the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, owned by the state’s 19 different Pueblo communities, traces the history of the region’s Native American cultures.
To get a true sense of the Old Route 66, today you will detour to New Mexico’s state capital, Santa Fe. Founded on the ruins of an abandoned Indian village and steeped in history, Santa Fe is the oldest capital in the U.S., and although it lost its place on Route 66 in 1938, it remains one of the most picturesque cities in the state. At one time this was the end of the old Santa Fe Trail, the earliest trade route linking the American frontier back east with the far west. Plan to visit one of Santa Fe’s famous art galleries, art markets, or museums full of traditional and contemporary art, including works by their own Georgia O’Keeffe, or shop for authentic creations you just won’t find anywhere else. DRIVING DISTANCE: 116 MI / 186 KM
This morning, the state of Arizona welcomes Route 66 travellers with an overwhelming display of trading posts. View huge concrete tepees that stand at the foot of brilliant red-rock mesas en route to Petrified Forest National Park, the only park in the National Park System containing a section of Historic Route 66. Here you will come face-to-face with over 13,000 years of human history and one of the world’s largest and most colourful assemblies of petrified wood, historic structures and archaeological sites. Catch a sunset over the Painted Desert from the park’s Kachina Point before heading to Holbrook. Once in Holbrook, stop at the Wigwam Motel whose steel and concrete teepees featuring modern conveniences have welcomed guests since the 1950’s. DRIVING DISTANCE: 260 MI / 420 KM
15 nights accommodation, staying in centrally located hotels, room only.
- Inclusive of taxes and service charges as indicated
- Upgrade hotels from €20pppn
- Non-refundable or transferable booking deposit €300 per person
- Full payment due on confirmation
- Optional Insurance €48 (conditions apply)
- Taxes, charges or compulsory charges introduced after publication are not included in the above price